Bounded by Love

Author: Koos van Winden <koosfanfic[at]>

Sequel to The Coffin

Rating: PG 13

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in this fic. They belong to Whedon and Mutant Enemy

Beta: Keith

Timeframe: After S7 Chosen

Warning: Not so much horror

Summary: The drama in The Coffin has deep consequences, especially for one person in particular.

Feedback: Please do

Chapter 1

Ten years later
Watcher Council HQ

The Hall was huge and decorated by the finest art. At the entrance there stood three huge marble statues. They held the faces of the most famous heroes of modern age. Every time a person walked through the hall, they were reminded of their greatness. That was what the Council Leader had said.

Steps on the marble floor echoed through the Hall as two women who seemed to have no interest in the statues as they had passed it in a hurry. Normally they were clad in fitting catsuits made of special material, finished with a waistband containing several weapons. But today was a special day and they were dressed in expensive black suits for a special occasion. One of the Slayers was holding the legendary Slayer's Scythe, designating her as being the Leader of the Slayers.

"Good afternoon, ladies," welcomed one of the Watchers with a polite smile, "Thank you for coming."

"How is he?" the dark haired of the two asked. Her voice filled with a strange combination of curtness and concern.

"He seemed to be fine. Considering."

She shook her head. "It's not about him retiring, Edward. Wes told us that he was keeping himself more and more in his own room. He eats less and less. Never goes out. Barely talks and only when its his duty. Fang thinks he's feeling the full weight of guilt even more than back then. Like it's eating him. And if there's someone who knows something about guilt than it's His Royal Broodiness."

"Faith, I'm sure he can hold his own. He's a stubborn, but strong man."

"Look, Edward. You weren't there. We were all so stupid. We all feel the guilt. It still hurts deeply. Can you imagine how he must feel?" Kennedy spoke before Faith could react. Edward kept silent.

"He's in his room?" Faith questioned half, only to be answered by a nod.


Senior Watcher and President's private chamber

A man sat behind a large oaken desk in a luxerious leather chair. His face was pale and his eyes red-rimmed. He picked up a picture on his desk containing the images of Buffy, Willow and Xander. It was from their high school days. They looked very happy as they smiled in the sunshine. The man slowly touched all their faces. "My fault," he muttered.

On the other side of the table stood a bronze hand, its finger pointing to the ceiling. He studied the small features it contained. Within a hour he would, as the current person holding the President's chair, have to hand it over to the new President. Though it wasn't even ten years old, it already had become the symbol within the whole worldwide Organization and all its branches. The hand, strangely enough called The Heart, stood for bravery, dedication, friendship and love. It was decided to let it pass on from one President onto the next. Like the Scythe would be pass on from Slayer Leader to her second. The man sighed as he let his finger slide over the hand. It reminded him of the past ten years, how he had worked day and night to make this huge network possible. It contained a Watchers and their Slayers departement. It had several Covens of Witches. A huge science department. A research departement. Several intelligence bureaus and even a special law firm in order to judge demons. His dark alter ego would have been thrilled. His father would have been proud. He knew that for sure. Everybody held the highest respect for him. Everybody . . . except one.

He placed the hand gently back on the bureau and opened the upper drawer. He pulled out a gun and studied it for a while, before he positioned it against his head. "Forgive me."

Chapter 2

Present time

Fuelled by adrenaline Xander picked up the saw and placed it just above the chain, ready to make the first cut. But he suddenly stopped as an aged man shimmered into the room.


"Giles?" Anya's voice, thick with surprise, echoed through the room.

Xander's mouth dropped open. "Giles? How did you come here? Are you alright? Has Anya-"

"You bloody blind fool! I thought you were the heart of the group? Can't you even see that she's suffering?"

Shocked by Giles' words the young man snapped out of his reckless thoughts of escape and looked at his friends, the coffin, and then for almost a minute at himself in the coffin. At the eye that had looked at him just before he died. The eye which had said it all.

The young man looked up. His face looked calm and without expression. "Anya, I love you."

Nothing happened.

"I know you haven't come back as a vengeance-full and all powerful magical coffin to kill my friends." He jerked at his chains. "You see this? My friends did this. It's for not letting me run away and face my personal shit alone."

Nothing happened.

"And you know what? They were damn right! I was a scared little kid again who tried to run away. Again. No matter how much it was the right thing for me to do it this time." He chuckled. "They wanted to help me. They care for me." He paused. "They are my friends and I love them deeply." He pointed at Willow and Buffy. "And not only them. I care for Giles. I care for Dawn. I care for Faith. I care for all my friends. And yes, I think I like Jane . . . Hell, I even love Andrew."

Nothing happened.

"You can hurt me forever and kill my best friends. I won't stop you and I won't save them." He threw the saw away, out of his own reach. "It doesn't matter." He paused. "It doesn't matter what you do. It doesn't matter what I do or where I am or how crazy it can get between us."

Nothing happened.

"You know why?"

No response.

"Because I know you don't want vengeance. You want to do the right thing too, no matter how torn you are . . . Because you care." He looked at the coffin. "You care too. And for that I love you. You'll always be in my heart."

Without any warning the fire, the box, and the coffin disappeared. The whole room turned to its dark normal self and Willow's lips were free again. Xander smiled at the sight and held up his chain as they looked back. "Giles, can you hand me a helping hand?"

The redhead looked around, her eyes glazed. "Giles?" she asked while Buffy quickly walked over and freed the prisoner of his chain with a loud snap.

Giles looked at Willow and Xander before he turned his face towards Buffy. "Don't judge that old fool so much for his bloody mistakes. He never knew what he was missing when he left you." He swallowed. "All of you."

"Giles," Buffy responded softly.

A small tear glistered over his cheek, his voice trembling. "Leaving anyone of you alone, even if it's for a bloody minute, would kill him."

The three were about to respond, but the old Brit faded away. They looked at each other.


Giles faded away before turning back into a glowing white light. Three black shadows appeared, shifting into human form.

"Thanks," the man said.

"It wasn't your time yet, sweety," an older female voice spoke, her voice warm and filled with love.

Giles nodded and faded away into nothingness.

"Come, Tara. Our work is done," the other woman said kindly in a motherly tone as a forth shadow appeared. She turned to it and smiled. "Welcome Anya."


A thundering crash broke the silence as Faith and Kennedy together rushed through the door at full speed and crushed into the opposite wall, leaving a pile of intertwined arms and legs.

"I'm sorry that it took me so long. It was nothing more than an old lady that had-" a distinctive British voice spoke hastily as Giles practically run in while breathing loud. Within a blink of an eye he found himself engulfed in a deep group hug as Willow, Buffy and Xander threw themselves at him. "No matter how much I appreciate this, I think we have bigger problems to attend to."

Xander grinned his infamous big grin. "You are a Hero!" he yelled.

Giles blinked. "I-I beg your pardon?" Buffy and Willow only pressed their faces deeper in his chest. As he got no further response he looked around. He then looked on his watch. "Oh, it's time."

"Yep, and I'm gone too," Xander responded.

Giles pressed on his glasses. "That's . . . that's excellent. Like I said earlier, we only had to stall for-"

Buffy looked up, her eyes moist and almost desperate. "You know you're a father to us, don't you?" she asked before she buried her head on his chest again. Dawn walked in and quickly squirmed in between them after having anxiously searched for a spot within the group. Giles didn't respond and looked at them for awhile. "It's awkward, isn't it?" Xander spoke for him without looking up.


Faith and Kennedy looked at each other. "What happened?" the Dark Slayer finally asked.

The group gave Giles his much needed freedom back. "I-I think I'm going to inform the others," he responded as he quickly walked out of the room.

"Not much." Willow smiled. "Buffy and me almost got fried," she explained casually.

Kennedy's eyes widened. "What?"

"The usual," Xander said, prompting Faith's arched eyebrow and Kennedy's stunned expression.

"How did you stop the fire?" Kennedy asked and looked at Willow. "A spell?" she asked as Faith faced Buffy with a questioningly look.

"Nah, Xander's usual big mouth," Willow explained, "And Giles arriving just in time saved us helpless girls."

Kennedy and Faith looked at Xander and Giles for a moment before turning to each other. The dark Slayer walked to the wall. "Where did that coffin go?" she asked.

Xander ignored her and turned to Buffy and Willow. "You didn't hear everything, did you?" he whispered.

Buffy and Willow both smiled sweetly. "Everything," the blond responded.

Xander gave them a dark look. "If any of you two say to anybody what I said about Andrew than I am gonna kill you, both. Not a word. Capish?"

The End